Bill that could make adoptions cheaper moves forward
BATON ROUGE - Adopting a child may soon become less expensive and less risky for families in Louisiana.
House Bill 643 would put a cap on how much money a biological mom could accept for living expenses. Right now, some people looking to adopt are being faced with exploitation.
“In all, our birth mother walked away with $12,000 cash,” said Dylan David.
Dylan, and his wife Kristin were looking to adopt a couple years ago. They were matched with a birth mom, and gave her thousands of dollars to help with day-to-day expenses.
“She even had the nerve to at one point to ask us to to co-sign on a trailer to help assist with her living,” said Dylan.
But they weren't the only ones helping the birth mom out.
“We have evidence from the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office where they have determined that we, along with two other families, at some point of time, gave this woman assistance during her pregnancy,” said Dylan.
In the end, the David's never took the child home.
“Frequently, babies have been reduced to things and commodities and they go to the highest bidder,” said David Aguillard, the Executive Director of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. “We've heard stories of people paying $20,000 to $25,000 and then the [biological mom] decides to back out at that point."
This is why the Catholic Charities is in favor of H.B. 643. The bill would cap how much a biological mom can receive for living expenses to $7,500. It would also allow adoptive parents to seek reimbursement if a mom was never pregnant, or was accepting money from multiple people.
Some believe the bill needs to go a step further.
“[The bill] was proposed without the control of women being brought into the state of Louisiana in order to utilize our resources, and it did not address women being solicited out of the state of Louisiana and go to a neighboring state where there is no cap,” said Teri Casso, the Executive Director of the St. Elizabeth’s Foundation.
But the David’s say if this will prevent others from feeling the financial and emotional loss that they've felt, then it’s a necessary step.
The bill passed in the Civil and Law Procedure House Committee Monday. It will now have to go through both the House and Senate floors.